Spirit of Norfolk remains towed to shipyard as crews work to investigate cause of fire

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Spirit of Norfolk Towed from Norfolk Naval Station
Spirit of Norfolk Towed from Norfolk Naval Station
Posted at 3:18 PM, Jun 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-12 15:18:48-04

NORFOLK, Va. - The Spirit of Norfolk was towed to Colonna’s Shipyard Sunday morning.

The fire aboard the ship was extinguished Saturday morning as crews worked on the final stages of a towing plan to remove the boat from Naval Station Norfolk.

Early Sunday morning at 6 a.m., salvage crews completed the tow of the remainder of the cruise ship to Colonna's Shipyard.

The Spirit of Norfolk United Command released the distress call from the fire that broke out on the Spirit of Norfolk earlier this week. The cruise ship was at Naval Station Norfolk when it caught fire Tuesday afternoon. About 110 personnel and passengers were on board.

The joint Coast Guard and National Transportation Safety Board investigation team say they will continue to work towards determining the cause of the fire.

The Unified Command overseeing the response has stood down and now the Coast Guard will continue to maintain oversight and monitor the Spirit of Norfolk. Permission from the Captain of the Port must now be requested for any of the cruise ship's future movement.

According to the Coast Guard, City Cruises will work to determine the final disposition of the Spirit of Norfolk.

City Cruises released this statement Friday:

“Since we began cruising in Norfolk in 1978, City Cruises has been part of this local community. And since its inaugural sailing in 1992, the ‘Spirit of Norfolk’ has been a local landmark and beloved by many. After this week’s marine incident causing a fire to the vessel, we extend our thanks to our Crew, the Norfolk Navy Station, the Coast Guard and our local fire departments, as well as the Victory Rover, for working so quickly to ensure that all our guests and crew made it safely ashore during Tuesday’s incident.

We are overwhelmed by the outpouring of support we have received from the community, who have shared their own personal experiences with ‘Spirit of Norfolk.’ From celebrating birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, class reunions, school events, among others, she was more than just a vessel, she was part of the fabric of this community.

We are looking at getting to sailing again as quickly as possible and will be moving another one of our vessels to Norfolk to accommodate our summer bookings. We look forward to welcoming guests back to create more memories aboard City Cruises Norfolk!”

Related: A look back at the legacy of the Spirit of Norfolk following fire